Study Materials

Resources for the Entrepreneur

Founders' Memo

This general memo is designed to educate the "team" of Founders as they work out the relationships among themselves. It should be considered by anyone who is thinking of starting a new venture. (PDF)

Boston Business Journal

Reprints from the "Starting Up" Column:

This is a collection of reprints from the monthly "Starting Up" column in the Boston Business Journal. The column addresses topics of recurring interest to persons who are starting and growing new ventures.

Hadzima, Joe. "Starting Up: Practical Advice for Entrepreneurs." Boston Business Journal.

Board of Directors and Advisors

  • "Outside Directors - Do You Need Them and Where to Find Them"
    The legal requirement for a Board of Directors. (PDF)
  • "Don't Bore the Board of Directors - (How To Use A Board Effectively)"
    Some practical tips on getting the most from your Board of Directors. (PDF)
  • "A Little Advice on Advising: Three Models of Success Will Help"
    Describes how to get, compensate and effectively use outside advisers to your venture. (PDF)

Employment/Employees

  • "Seven Characteristics of Highly Effective Entrepreneurial Employees"
    How to Identify "Right Stuff" employees. (PDF)
  • "Employment Pitfalls Part 1"
    Legal issues in employing and retaining your most valuable assets: independent contractors, offer letters, non-competition agreements. (PDF)
  • "Employment Pitfalls Part 2"
    Government contracts, overtime, immigration law, employee handbooks. (PDF)
  • "Do You Still Have the Right People (In the Right Job)?"
    Will the people who started with you make it to the IPO? (PDF)
  • "How Much Does An Employee Cost?"
    The "non-direct salary" cost components - some metrics on figuring the cost of feeding and caring for employees. (PDF)

Legal Forms of Doing Business

  • "Subchapter S: Some Myths, Realities and Practical Considerations"
    What is a Subchapter S Corporation and why/when should you use it? (PDF)
  • "Is An LLC For Me?"
    What is a Limited Liability Company and is it appropriate for a technology growth company? (PDF)

Stock and Equity

  • "Thinking About Valuation"
    Pre-Money and Post-Money Valuation; Some techniques for valuing a venture. (PDF)
  • "Dilution - Here Is A Primer of Stock Vocabulary"
    A primer on stock vocabulary relating to dilution. (PDF)
  • "Take Stock When Using Stock in Trade"
    Covers basic terminology and concepts about stock and about equity compensation of employees. (PDF)
  • "Using Stock in Trade for Services - Part 2: Stock and Options"
    Some considerations in using stock and options. (PDF)
  • "Employees' Stock Reward - How Much Stock Do They Deserve?"
    What is appropriate stock compensation for employees? (PDF)
  • "Steer Clear of the Tempest: A Start-Up Tragedy in Three Acts"
    This column discusses the importance of securities laws and how one company's failure to comply with these laws may have caused the company to fail itself. (PDF)
  • "WHIPLASH - (The Pitfalls of Acceleration)"
    Should stock and option vesting accelerate when a company is acquired or goes public? (PDF)

Financing - Venture Capital

  • "All Financing Sources Are Not Equal"
    There are differences among financing sources - pick the one that ís right for you. (PDF)
  • "What Are the Terms? - Part 1: A Preferred Return"
    First of a three part series on the terms of venture capital financings. (PDF)
  • "What Are the Terms? - Part 2: Investors Need Some Control After Their Checks Are Cashed" (PDF)
  • "What Are the Terms? - Part 3: Run Don't Walk To The Exit" (PDF)

General Advice to Entrepreneurs

  • "Success Is No Day At The Beach"
    Take some time to think about your personal goals - you can't figure out how to get somewhere in your business if you don't know where you want to go. (PDF)
  • "The Foundation of Success - Build Value Every Step Along The Way"
    Plan your work and work your plan to achieve specific goals which enhance the value of your company. (PDF)
  • "The Business Plan"
    Lessons from the M.I.T. $50K Business Plan Seminar Series. (PDF)
  • "Pinpointing That Critical Entrepreneural Spark"
    What makes a successful entrepreneur? (PDF)
  • "Paying the Founding Piper: It's Not As Simple As Writing A Check"
    How can you get paid (other than in stock) for your "sweat." (PDF)
  • "Ten Commandments Of How To Work Effectively With Lawyers"
    Practical tips about how to use your lawyers effectively. (PDF)

Intellectual Property

  • "Questions of Copyright: Another Weapon in Property Arsenal"
    Discusses basic concepts of copyright protection. (PDF)
  • "The Importance of Patents: It Pays To Know Patent Regulations"
    What is a patent, how do you get one and what value are they? (PDF)
  • "Of Kleenex and Cheez Whiz: Trademarks Are Nothing To Sneeze At"
    Practical tips on trademarks. (PDF)

What do Things Cost?

  • "Adding Up All The Costs: How Accounting Services Are Priced"
    Why do you need an accountant and what do accounting services cost? (PDF)
  • "The Costs of Hunting Heads"
    What does it cost to recruit someone? (PDF)
  • "How Much Does An Employee Cost?"
    Some metrics on figuring the cost of feeding and caring for employees. (PDF)
  • "Don't I Know You From Somewhere? The Price Of Fame"
    What does public relations cost? (PDF)
  • "Putting a Leash on Your Lease"
    Basic points to think about in signing a real estate lease for your business. (PDF)

The Technology Entrepreneur's Guidebook.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Entrepreneurial Services Center.

PricewaterhouseCoopers provides some Excel spreadsheet templates for financial projections for Business Plans. Use these financial modeling spreadsheets to clearly illustrate your return on investment, profitability and cash-flow milestones, and to integrate your performance goals with your financial goals. If you are a service-based business you'll want to use the "service" model.

PWC Financial Model Template.

PWC Service Financial Model.